Northern Illinois drops Game to Belmont, 76-72

Updated 11/18/2000
MIAMI (AP) (Nov. 18, 2000) -- Five Belmont players scored double figures, led by Wes Burtner's 19 points, as the Bruins defeated Northern Illinois (0-2), 76-72, in the consolation game of the FIU Tip-Off Classic Saturday night.

NIU's Leon Rodgers led all scorers with 23 points while teammate Mike Brown added 19 points in the loss.

Northern Illinois controlled the game for much of the early going and held a 23-14 lead on a jumper by Marcus Smallwood with 8:44 to play in the first half. But the Bruins (1-1) came back, scoring the next 13 points, six of those by freshman guard Steve Drabyn, for a 27-23 lead with 4:32 in the half.

A layup by Burtner helped the Bruins to their largest lead of the game, a 13-point, 69-56, advantage with 5:36 to play.